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Brussels, 15 July 2009

Climate Change: EU and MTV enlist international artists to mobilize youth audiences in run-up to Copenhagen climate conference

Today the European Commission and MTV Networks International launched the "Play to Stop – Europe for Climate" campaign. The campaign will run for six months, and is aimed at raising awareness among young people about the dangers of climate change whilst mobilising them in the run-up to the Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December. "Play to Stop" targets 11 EU Member States and involves TV spots, a Moby concert in Stockholm, two concerts featuring other artists in Budapest and Copenhagen, webcasts and games, and editorial content about the battle against climate change. The Copenhagen Climate conference which will agree a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol opens on 7 December.

EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: "Today's young people will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The Copenhagen conference is probably our last chance to tackle climate change before it spirals out of control. There is an enormous desire around the globe for agreement to be reached, and we have to sustain that momentum. Events like this are vital, because young people are a tremendously important pressure group. They will be most affected by climate change – so their voices are the most important."

"No country will be spared the effects of climate change, and future generations will be worst affected. That's why communicating the urgency of the problem and fighting behaviour that aggravates climate change, are so fundamental for MTV," said Antonio Campo Dall'Orto, Executive Vice President of Music Brands for MTV Networks International. "It's a battle we fight step by step, day after day. The battle for a more sustainable, eco-friendly future is as much about democracy as it is about the environment, so we are proud to support the precious work the EU is doing for the environment through this Play to stop-Europe for Climate campaign."

Major artists on board

From July to December, “Play to Stop – Europe for Climate” aims to engage young people in 11 EU Member States in the fight against climate change. The campaign will run in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Three concerts with leading international artists will take place in Stockholm, Budapest and Copenhagen and be aired on MTV. The first concert, featuring Moby, will be in Stockholm on 20 August. Throughout the campaign the music channel will also devote editorial content to the fight against climate change, producing several specials.

Each concert will take place alongside a major event related to climate change: World Water Week in Stockholm, Mobility Week in Budapest, and the Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Countries will be represented by celebrity national ambassadors who will help draw the general public’s attention and make their voices heard. They include Bulgarian tennis player Magdalena Maleeva, Danish singer Anna David, Italian TV star Paola Maugeri, Polish entertainer Michal Pirog and Romanian climate activist Serban Miron Copot.

Boosting action by young people

While young people are aware of the risks posed by climate change, they rarely act against it. A Europe-wide survey published today finds that young people view climate change as the second most serious global issue after poverty. Only 51% of people aged between 15 and 24 have ever taken action to fight climate change, the lowest proportion of any age group.

This campaign is designed to inform young people about the potential consequences of a failure to reach agreement in Copenhagen and to use their energy in the run-up to the conference to put pressure on policymakers to reach agreement.

Throughout the campaign, young people will have the opportunity to exchange opinions about climate change and the environment, as well as to share ideas about how to protect the environment on the “Play to Stop” website at

Background: EU Climate action

The goal of the December conference is to find a new global climate deal to take over from the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Early action is needed: climate destabilization is already a reality, and any delay in reaching an agreement will inevitably delay global action and worsen the effects of climate change.

The European Union already plays a leading role in the global fight against climate change. In December 2008 the EU adopted an integrated energy and climate change policy, setting ambitious targets for 2020. It hopes to set Europe on the right track – towards a sustainable future with a low-carbon, energy-efficient economy by:

  • cutting greenhouse gases by 20% (30% if international agreement is reached)

  • reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency

  • meeting 20% of our energy needs from renewable sources.

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